Chat with Rob Demovsky
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN NFL Nation Green Bay Packers reporter Rob Demovsky drops by to chat and answer all of your Packers questions.
Following 16 years covering the Packers for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Demovsky joined ESPN in 2013 as the Packers beat reporter. He is a two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Send your questions now and join Demovsky Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Rob Demovsky (4:01 PM)
Good afternoon everyone. I'm sure there's lots of interest in Colt Lyerla, so let's get started.
Have you had any personal contact with Colt Lyerla? If so, did he seem like a changed(matured) man in your opinion? If he's put the bad stuff behind him and lives up to the hype, we would cause serious fits for opposing defenses.
Rob Demovsky (4:03 PM)
Roger: Let's consider the first few minutes as the Colt Lyerla portion of the chat, and then we'll try to move on to other topics. I heard Lyerla speak at the combine, but did not get the chance to talk to him during the Packers' rookie camp last week. The team kept all the tryout players in a separate locker room that the media did not have access to. I'm expecting to get the chance to talk to him when the Packers have their first open OTA session in a couple of weeks, if not sooner.
I was intrigued by the Packers giving former Oregon TE Colt Lyerla a tryout. This kid has all world talent but has had demons in the past. If he can demonstrate a strong work ethic and show the trust of the coaches, is he a great candidate to make the practice roster?perhaps more? thoughts?
Rob Demovsky (4:05 PM)
Bill: Assuming he stays out of trouble, he'll evaluated just like everyone else -- on his production and ability. If it came down to the fact that the Packers wanted him on the practice squad (and not the roster) they would have to cut him and hope no one else claimed him first.
Kevin Dickens (Kansas City, MO)
Green Bay now has an extended and very diverse group of tight ends battling for the starting position. The signing of very talented undrafted rookie free agent Colt Lyerla, drafting of Cal's Richard Rodgers and signing of reliable vet Andrew Quarless all but really suggest the Packers are moving on from Jermichael Finley right? Or if he gets medical clearance do they resign him? How do you see this playing out?
Rob Demovsky (4:08 PM)
Kevin: I've maintained all along that I thought the Packers were done with Finley. They keep saying that they're keeping an eye on his medical updates, and maybe that's true. Also, he still has a locker in the locker room, but that could be just for show. If he does get clearance -- and that's still a big if -- maybe another team (like Seattle or Miami) and offer him a better deal.
Colt Lyerla is a great talent, but I don't feel enough of being made of his off the field transgressions. It goes much deeper than a drug habit and run in with police. His tweet claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a conspiracy is especially concerning. What do you think the realistic odds are that the Packers can turn this kid around into a productive player and human being?
Rob Demovsky (4:09 PM)
Kevin: Every single story I've written about him -- and every story I've read about him -- has referenced his off-the-field issues. Not sure how much more can be made of it. As far as his football ability, let's wait until we see him on the field a few more times before we make any specific judgments.
Why are there some people so upset with the Lyerla signing? He is a low risk signing that if he messes up or does not pan out he's gone. Guess some people are not willing to give out a second chance since they must be perfect and never needed one.
Rob Demovsky (4:11 PM)
Kevin: I suppose people are protective of their team and don't want its image to be tarnished in any way. Or maybe they're scared of having someone like him in their community. I remember a reporter asking Ted Thompson how he would feel if Koren Robinson killed someone in Green Bay in a drunk driving accident. Maybe it's the same thing.
How dare the Packers give Lyerla a second chance? Are they selling their souls for troubled football player?
Rob Demovsky (4:12 PM)
Devil's advocate question here: Should they not have brought Johnny Jolly back either?
Eli (Dunmore, PA)
Hey Rob, Let me know when this Lyerla period ends so the real questions can start.
Rob Demovsky (4:12 PM)
Eli: I get the point. We will be moving on momentarily.
Hardy (New Richmond, WI)
With the recent signing of Undrafted, but, troubled Colt Lyerla, What contract langauge or stipulations can the Packers put in his contract to protect them from Contract risks, with his checked past? Could they put in incentives that might encourage Colt to keep himself trouble-free and focused on making a positive impact on the Team?
Rob Demovsky (4:14 PM)
Hardy: I've gotten this question often during the last couple of days. For one, there's no guaranteed money in his contract. Also, he doesn't get a dime until he makes the team. Even then, it's a minimum salary. And just like with any rookie, first or second-year player, if he gets cut during the season, the team doesn't owe him any more money.
Rob Demovsky (4:15 PM)
OK, we've dedicated a quarter of the chat to Lyerla and the tight ends so let's move on to other topics.
PackerYaker (Crystal River, Florida)
If Tretter doesn't win the center's job, do you think he'll compete for one of the other OL positions this year?
Rob Demovsky (4:16 PM)
If he doesn't win the center job, he'll have to show that he can backup all three interior line positions in order to secure a roster spot. I know they really like his chances of winning the center job, though. A lot of people in the organization are high on him, but now he has to produce. He's still a great unknown.
Rob - with the roster as is, how many spots are available for rookies/ undrafted free agents/ and try out players out of the 53?
Rob Demovsky (4:17 PM)
Matt: Just for fun, I tried to cut the roster from 90 to 53 the other day. I got down to about 60 with no problem. After that it was borderline impossible because there are so many unknowns.
a none Colt question......who impressed at the rookie camp? any one look like a sleeper?
Rob Demovsky (4:19 PM)
Dan: We only got to watch one practice, so it was tough to see everything. I decided to spend a lot of time watching the offense because I could see all three WRs in one drill. Adams looked smooth, Abbrederis looked quick and Janis had better size than I expected. Other than that, I try not to make too many judgments off one practice.
Ben (Indianapolis, IN)
Rob, do you think Green Bay could handle hosting the draft?
Rob Demovsky (4:20 PM)
Ben: We have a 9,700-seat arena that could serve as the host venue. But I'm not sure it would be very exciting for the draft picks who attend the event to spend a week in Green Bay. There are so many other activities leading up to the draft for those 30-plus players. They make appearances, do charity work, etc.
Are we talking extension with McCarthy, Nelson and Cobb??
Rob Demovsky (4:22 PM)
Adam: Apparently, Packers president Mark Murphy made some comments today at the NFL meeting in Atlanta that any extension for McCarthy would come after an extension for GM Ted Thompson, and right now it's unclear how much longer Thompson will work. As for Nelson and Cobb, there's nothing imminent.
Rob, why not move Nick Perry to inside linebacker? That would take the weakest link (Jones) off the field and would allow more of your playmakers to be on the field constantly (Peppers, Neal, Matthews, etc.)
Rob Demovsky (4:22 PM)
Jackson: What makes you think he can move, change directions and cover like an inside linebacker must do?
steve (sun prairie)
Can Bostick be the 2nd year player to make a big jump this year?
Rob Demovsky (4:23 PM)
Steve: There's definitely some talent and ability there, but he's still raw. It's probably a make-or-break summer for him. He's been around long enough that he'll have to produce. Wouldn't surprise me if he did just that.
is there a trait that these new WR draftees have that Nelson, Cobb or Boykin don't have?
Rob Demovsky (4:25 PM)
Gavin: If anything, each one of the new WRs probably resembles one of those returners. Janis is built and runs like Nelson. Abbrederis is probably a slot WR like Cobb, and Adams is more like Boykin/James Jones in terms of size and ability.
Eli (Dunmore, PA)
Rob, probably the first time you have ever been asked a question regarding this player. . . .but how long is Brett Goode locked down for. Do you think they ever consider getting rid of him and having a positional player do the snapping duties in addition to his other duties in order to free up a roster spot?
Rob Demovsky (4:26 PM)
Eli: He's signed through 2015, and most teams now use a dedicated long snapper. They've become so good that it's not worth risking a botched snap over the chance to keep another position player.
Which player, new to the packers, are you most excited to get to talk to?
Rob Demovsky (4:27 PM)
Ryan: Well we still haven't had the chance to talk to Julius Peppers. As far as the rookies, I found Demetri Goodson to be very outgoing and engaging. Guess I shouldn't be surprised because he's a former basketball player.
Jerry (Juneau, WI)
What do the undrafted FA guys live on when they're working in Green Bay and haven't gotten paid yet? Do they have to find a place to live? Eat at a cafeteria? Dollar menu?
Rob Demovsky (4:28 PM)
Jerry: There's a per diem in the offseason for those who attend the team's workouts. If players don't have a place to live, the Packers put them up in a hotel. They also serve meals at the team dining facility.
Eric (Eau Claire)
If the Pack pay market value to keep both Cobb and Nelson after this year, does that dramatically impact their cap situation? Do you think there's a chance TT lets one walk?
Rob Demovsky (4:29 PM)
Eric: They have plenty of cap space to do those deals and not wreck future caps. I would bet both are back under new deals, but if they're going to let one walk it would probably be Nelson. If he doesn't have a deal done by September, then it might be time to stat thinking they're going to let him walk.
Justin (Arkansas) [via mobile]
Rob, my question is about scheduling. I know how the NFL assigns those last two games (Seattle and Philadelphia this year), but how do they decide who is the home team and who is the away team?
Rob Demovsky (4:31 PM)
Justin: It's a predetermined rotation. For example, in 2015, the Packers will play their two games based on how they finish at an NFC East team and home against an NFC South team, and they will all four teams in the NFC West.
Anthony California [via mobile]
Rob thanks for taken time to answer us if you had to bet who wins the the 3rd starting receiver position who do you think it'd be
Rob Demovsky (4:32 PM)
Anthony: Wouldn't surprise me if it's Davante Adams. Not to take anything away from Boykin because he has shown he can produce, but Adams is a second-round talent and Boykin was undrafted. Usually there's a reason. That said, it's sometimes harder for rookie receivers to contribute than it is for rookies at other spots.
Simon (Raleigh, NC)
Excited to see/hear about the new guys... Always a "glass half full" kind of mood this time of year. With a little better luck on the injury front this year how can you not be excited about the upside of this team? With the exception of ILB seems like the other 3 positions of concern (C, S, TE) have some pretty good competition. Even ILB could see some improvement if Jones is healthier and Lattimore is better in year 2 at ILB - of course Hawk had one of his best years so hard to say if he can repeat that. So... tell me if I'm crazy.. but I think injuries are a bigger concern than talent this year. Add a healthy Matthews and Peppers and improvement at S to the playoff team from last year... hard not to like it. What are your thoughts? Injury or talent the bigger concern for you? If talent, which position(s) do you need to see improvement sway you?
Rob Demovsky (4:35 PM)
Simon: They have to solve their injury problems. OK, maybe not solve them because you can never fully eliminate injuries, but they have to limit the preventable injuries (i.e. muscle pulls) and then get lucky and avoid the catastrophic ones (Rodgers, Lacy, Matthews, Nelson, etc). If they do, we should see improvement, especially on defense.
Hi Rob, What do you think the Packers will do with Bradford? Are they working him at ILB? I heard they were going to try him at OLB, but that position seems really crowded already with Matthews, Perry, Neal, Mulumba, Peppers, etc. It seems like ILB would be a bigger need and a better fit for him. What are you hearing?
Rob Demovsky (4:36 PM)
Keith: Look for Neal to go back to playing more with his hand on the ground as an inside pass rusher. Neal will do some of that, too, and Peppers is not a full-time OLB I'm not sure Mulumba should be mentioned in the same category with those others. So I'm not sure it's as deep as it may look.
Saber, New Orleans. [via mobile]
Which primetime game are you looking forward to the most this upcoming season?
Rob Demovsky (4:37 PM)
New Orleans, of course. A night games allows for more time in the Quarter the night before!
Do you see dejuan Harris having any impact this season. They were high on him before his injury last year but the backfield looks crowded
Rob Demovsky (4:37 PM)
Jon: I do. I think he's still a big part of their rotational plans behind Lacy. And we've seen that you need more than one running back to get through a season, so with Lacy, Starks and Harris (and possibly Franklin) that's not a bad group.
If you could compare Packers to Game of Thrones characters, who would be Tyrion?
Rob Demovsky (4:40 PM)
Gavin: I actually don't watch it and haven't read the books. Fantasy isn't my thing. But my wife loves the books (and to a lesser extent the TV show) so I'll ask her. ... She tells me Tyrion is "super smart, but under-appreciated." Who fits that description?
Can you project the cap hits for the last 3 drafted free agents and post what is to be believed the amount under the cap for the top 51 contracts, and why isn't it based on the top 53?
Rob Demovsky (4:40 PM)
Broc: I actually did that here earlier today. Check it out:http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/9861/packers-cap-update-15-million-unused
Ed (Escanaba, MI)
With two assistant coaches leaving the staff rather suddenly, do you think McCarthy is tough to work for?
Rob Demovsky (4:41 PM)
Ed: Kevin Greene worked much more closely with Dom Capers than he did with McCarthy, so I don't know if it's right to compare his situation with that of the other assistant who left, Joel Hilgenberg. Also, I'm not sure I buy that both left on their own. Guys don't just walk away from high-paying jobs in the NFL very often. Consider me skeptical.
53 man roster question: Do you think the Pack will cut J Bush and B Jones to save some cap space (~$2.5-$3M total)? Will there be enough youth and depth at LB and CB to do so? Is this amount of cap space worth the risk of cutting two veterans?
Rob Demovsky (4:44 PM)
John: I don't see them moving on from Bush. He's too valuable on special teams and in the locker room. Plus, he played very well on defense last year. Maybe with Jones, though.
I see a lot of post draft options @ WR and very little done to address the instability in pass protection (injured and unproven players abound at T spots). How'd AR going to throw from his back again this year?
Rob Demovsky (4:45 PM)
Scott: Having Bryan Bulaga back -- if he can stay healthy -- should help.
I'm ready for the Packers defense to up their game. But I have a few questions. How many snaps can we expect from Peppers per game? Will Mike Neal move over to inside linebacker next to AJ Hawk? And finally, will Carl Bradford help take Nick Perry's place opposite of Clay Matthews while Perry moves to defensive end as long as Bradford can prove himself? These position changes were mentioned before for Neal and Perry.
Rob Demovsky (4:46 PM)
Aaron: No way will Peppers play 40-50 snaps a game like he did last season. I could see 25-35. Neal is not an inside linebacker. He can't run like one. Bradford could get a look at Perry's spot, especially if Perry plans more defensive end.
John (Eau Claire)
Last week Monday, it was reported Finley was examined again, but not a word on the results. Why haven't the results been released, unless it exposed a negative finding in the healing of his neck?
Rob Demovsky (4:47 PM)
John: It's pretty much up to his agent to decide what news gets out, and you're probably right. If it was good news, he'd have leaked it. Otherwise, he's probably going to be stay quiet.
Rob, to your wife's thought of Tyrion, that sounds a lot like Nelson to me... WAY underappreciated, maybe not in Green Bay but around the league as a whole.
Jack Patterson (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Rob, what is your opinion on the Packers decision to not draft any offensive linemen in the draft, with the departure of Newhouse you would think they would need to add depth also considering the high rate of injuries they have always faced in that position.
Rob Demovsky (4:48 PM)
Jack: They drafted a center, Corey Linsley, who will compete for the starting job. I think they're a year away from needing a tackle, and you can get tackles to come in and play right away (Bulaga and Bakhtiari both did it), so they can wait on that until next year.
Jeremy (Oshkosh, WI)
With the addition of Ha Ha Clinton Dix and the statements that Coach McCarthy will be using Micah Hyde at safety, do you see Morgan Burnett being trade bait or do you think they will rotate the 3 safetys based on situation and/or opposing team?
Rob Demovsky (4:51 PM)
Jeremy: I don't see them moving on from Burnett at this point. A year ago, they considered him one of their ascending players. I don't think they're going to let one mediocre year change that. Now, if he doesn't produce this season, that's another story.
With so much attention on this years draft class, I'm curious to see what happens with last years. Particularly, Datone Jones, J.C. Tretter and Johnathin Franklin. Are these guys in store for significantly more playing time? Obviously Tretter got hurt but is he a guy the Packers really like? Is there a spot for him or is he looking like a backup? Is Nate Palmer looking like a guy that won't make this team? I didn't see much from him last year when he did play. Thanks Rob!
Rob Demovsky (4:52 PM)
Brocko: You make a good point because it's more likely that a player going into his second year is going to make a big jump than a rookie is going to make a major impact. Look for Datone Jones' role to expand. Tretter is going to get the first crack at the center job. Nate Palmer struggled last season, but maybe he'll make a jump this year.
Pete (Green Bay)
Let's give a shout out to Minneapolis for hosting the 2018 Super Bowl. Hosting is the only way a Super Bowl trophy ever gets to Minneapolis
Rob Demovsky (4:53 PM)
Marissa, Macomb [via mobile]
Do you think Jared Abbredaeris could be the answer at returning kicks and/or punts? He did it some at Wisconsin & it'd prevent having Cobb, or Hyde possibly getting hurt. & that'd help him get on the 53 man roster & be able to learn the play book.
Rob Demovsky (4:53 PM)
Marissa: Or Demetri Goodson. He's got some return ability, too.
Taylor (Morristown NJ) [via mobile]
Jarrett Boykin was really stepping it up last year. Is he now the odd man out with the Adams and Abbrederis signings?
Rob Demovsky (4:54 PM)
Taylor: I don't think so. Even if Adams moves ahead of him, I would think he'd play more than Abbrederis, although Boykin isn't a slot receiver.
Andrew (New Hampshire)
Do you see any veteran receivers getting cut going into next season, like Alex Gillet?
Rob Demovsky (4:55 PM)
Andrew: If I were Gillet, Kevin Dorsey or Chris Harper, I'd be a little nervous.
Josh (Tyler, TX)
What do you mean by "it is unclear how long Thompson will continue to work". I though he said he has no plans to quit anytime soon in a recent presser.
Rob Demovsky (4:56 PM)
Josh: That's what he said. But that doesn't mean he wants to work beyond his current contract, which expires after the 2016 draft.
Will the Packers ever play in London as a road team?
Rob Demovsky (4:58 PM)
Liam: I hope so. I'd love to come over and see your country. Next best chance is probably in 2016, when the Packers are scheduled to play on the road against the Jaguars, who have already agreed to a series of games in London. Maybe I should get my passport updated.
of the early picks yet to produce (Perry, Datone Jones, Sherrod, Worthy) do you have any good feelings about their chances this year?
Rob Demovsky (4:59 PM)
Jordan: You'd have to think Perry and Jones will get more opportunities than Sherrod and Worthy.
Jon (Papillion, NE)
If the Packers don't resign Finley because he isn't cleared to play, can Bostick land the starting job at TE?
Rob Demovsky (5:00 PM)
That would be a big step for a guy who caught only 7 passes last year. They'd be more likely to start Quarless and use Bostick and others (Rodgers, Lyerla) in sub packages.
Rob Demovsky (5:01 PM)
Thanks for all the questions this week. This has to be the fastest hour of my week. I'll be back here next week. We'll be seeing ya!